October 22, 2014
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Weight Management

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Study: Diet and weight-loss drug helps diabetics lose weight

Overweight people with type 2 diabetes have enjoyed success shedding pounds by blending a calorie-conscious diet with the weight loss pill Meridia®, researchers have discovered.

Dr. J. Bruce Redmon and fellow scientists at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis studied 59 individuals who took part in either a combination weight loss program or a standard approach.

Over a two-year period, the participants in the combination group, all of whom were overweight and have type 2 diabetes, took daily doses of sibutramine (Meridia®) - a medication that makes you feel full sooner. Participants also engaged in intermittent low-calorie diet weeks and used meal replacements (Slim Fast), to lower their caloric intake.

The standard group spent the first year using a standard weight loss program, which included individualized diets and an exercise regimen. They switched to the combination method in the second year.

Results, published in the medical journal Diabetes Care, showed the people in the combination group "had significant reductions in BMI (Body Mass Index), fat mass, lean body mass and systolic blood pressure," Redmon and associates noted, adding the average amount of weight lost by group members was approximately 10 pounds. This group also demonstrated a decrease in HbA1c (a measure of long-term blood glucose control) measurements.

For participants in the standard group, the first year yielded minimal weight loss. However, after changing to the combination approach, this group, "showed changes in weight and HbA1c that were similar to those demonstrated by the (combination) therapy group in year 1," the researchers found.

Redmon and colleagues believe these results are significant for those with type 2 diabetes. "This combination weight loss program resulted in significant weight loss and improved diabetes control," the study concludes. The researchers emphasized that the combination strategy was relatively inexpensive, costing $6 per day and was "simple and easy to understand and implement."

Even small amounts of weight loss may assist people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar in a healthy range and avoid complications from the disease.


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